As I write this, it is -29° Celsius in London, Ontario, which works out to -20° Farenheit or roughly the temperature when brass monkeys start getting nervous.
London is one of Canada’s southernmost cities, only 90 minutes from Detroit, but you’d think it was in Alaska. The landlocked college town is midway between Lake Huron and Lake Erie and in winter it gets hammered relentlessly by arctic blasts from the north and snow dumps from the south. (I went to school there and still remember walking to class dressed in full ski outfits, goggles included.)
But none of this is much concern to Carey Rhodes and Erin Craven-Patrick, a pair of enterprising London residents who were determined to make their winter nights a little more bearable.
The result is Lux Sleepwear, a new label that uses luxury fabrics as the basis for toasty nighttime options that don’t scrimp on style.
Part of the inspiration for Lux was the founders’ realization that women like themselves had given up on fashion choices at bedtime in favor of anything that provides a dependable amount of warmth.
“Admit it – you’ve slept in your college sweatshirt and snowflake flannel pants, just like us,” the pair explain on the company website.
“As Canadian women, we know what cold really is, and too often we’ve relied on frumpy sleepwear to keep us cozy. We know frumpy isn’t figure flattering. We know we don’t feel good in frumpy. On top of all that, we know our husbands wish we’d dress sexier at bedtime.
“We also know there’s a chance our kids will need us in the middle of night, and that slinky lingerie still sitting in our dresser … simply won’t cut it.”
Lux combats what they call the “nighttime temperature wars” with a diverse assortment of attractive styles made from cashmere, bamboo and modal, fabrics known for their warming properties, breathability and how they feel against your skin.
“We guarantee they’re the softest products you’ve ever felt,” Erin says in the introductory video (below) for Lux.
Pieces in the Lux collection range from basic boxers, T-shirts and the Next of Skin leggings, to more extravagant items like the full-length Audrey nightgown or the Chinook gown with asymmetrical hem. Some styles create instant boudoir appeal with strategic cutouts, deep necklines and figure-hugging fit, while the brand’s tunics and wrap tops are built for comfort. There’s even a basic item that sums up the brand’s mission: the Not My College Sweatshirt, which jazzes up that old standby with shoulder cutouts and a scoop neck.
Lux‘s founders spent more than a year developing the brand and bring some diverse life experience to their startup, which launched last May. Carey is a former teacher, Erin is a marketing exec for manufacturing giant 3M, and the pair hired prize-winning grad Cassie Smith from the local Fanshawe College fashion design program to bring their vision to life. All garments are made in Toronto.
And despite its stylish aspirations, Lux is primarily a practical answer to a real problem that many women — in chilly London and anywhere else — know too well.
“Science has proven that women are in fact colder than men,” Erin said, “and our tolerance level to the feeling of cold is lower than men’s, meaning when we’re cold we’re really uncomfortable.”
Lux products are currently available on the company webshop and select retail boutiques, and all styles come in solid colorways like plum, charcoal, midnight blue and hazelnut. Here are few more looks from their debut collection.